Matt Karatsu | Daily TrojanOn Wednesday, USC finished up a short week of practice in preparation for Friday’s game against No. 16 Washington State. The team worked on red-zone efficiency and readied for potentially inclement weather while continuing to deal with a slew of recent injuries.Bracing for harsh weatherThis Friday, USC could see a potentially rainy, windy evening in Pullman, Wash. In order to prepare for that prospect, the team practiced with wet footballs on Wednesday.“It looks like we may get some rain there in the second half,” head coach Clay Helton said. “We worked [in] some precipitation, which will be the first time for us this season.”Helton insisted that his team will be able to handle the harsh conditions, despite the lack of experience dealing with rain in sunny Southern California.“We’ve been fortunate,” Helton said. “Stat of the day is: Since 1923, we’ve only had 16 rain games in the Coliseum, but [I’ve] been here for two of them, in 2010 and 2016. At the end of the day, professionals don’t make excuses; they’re supposed to be the answers.”Injury UpdateAs USC grinds through 12 straight games without the reprieve of a bye week, the pileup of injuries always seemed inevitable. A third of the way into the season, after facing four challenging opponents, the accumulation of wear and tear has already become a major factor. The Trojans spent most of their short week trying to get key players healthy and back on the field.“I don’t think anybody is 100 percent right now after these first four games,” Helton said. “I think we all have bumps and bruises right now at all positions.”Helton offered several injury updates on the offensive side of the ball. Junior wide receiver Deontay Burnett and freshman receiver/return specialist Velus Jones both came back to practice on Wednesday after dealing with minor injuries, but their fellow pass-catcher redshirt senior Steven Mitchell Jr. remained out with a groin injury suffered against Texas. Mitchell Jr. is the team’s second leading receiver with 223 yards and two touchdowns.“I watched him run today and he is getting closer,” Helton said. “If it’s not Saturday, it will be next week.”Helton also offered new information about redshirt sophomore tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe, as he’s been out with a hip injury since the season opener against Western Michigan. Tight end is a particularly thin position for the Trojans without Imatorbhebhe and now with the departure of freshman Cary Angeline.“We’re all hoping that he plays this year,” Helton said. “We’re hoping to forecast for the Notre Dame game week. He’s getting closer but this is an investment that we made. We wanted to get him back 100 percent, and until he’s that way, I’m not going to put him out there.”Junior Tyler Petite is now by far the most experienced tight end on the depth chart. He turned in his best performance last week against Cal with four catches for 46 yards and a touchdown.Improving red-zone efficiency Currently, the Trojans’ lack of success in the red zone has been one of the team’s biggest crutches. Over the first four games, the team is 73rd in red-zone efficiency, tied with Ball State and Idaho. During this week of practice, USC worked on that specific area of the game.“The last two weeks, we haven’t been great [in short yardage offense],” Helton said. “Everyone can see that. We worked hard in the red zone today and at finishing drives, because third-down and red-zone efficiency is going to be the key in this game. You’re not going to be able to kick field goals while they’re scoring touchdowns.”
…most children depend on warm meals served at schoolBy Lakhram BhagiratThe recent study on Indigenous Women and Children in 12 communities in Guyana, found that the Indigenous population is seriously disadvantaged economically, hence accounting for their high poverty rate when compared to the rest of Guyana. Additionally, it found that most primary aged students, in the 12 communities, depend on the school feeding programme for one proper meal per day.The executive summary on the study on Indigenous Women and ChildrenGuyana has the largest number of Indigenous peoples in a single country in the entire Caribbean and according to the last census, they account for 10.3 per cent of the population. The Indigenous population is settled mainly in Regions One (Barima-Waini), Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) and Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo), which serves as the home to approximately 80 per cent of the population.The study was conducted by UNICEF in Region One, Region Seven, Region Eight, Region Nine and Indigenous communities in coastal communities in Region Two – Akawini (Pomeroon-Supenaam), Region Three – Santa Mission (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), Region Four – St Cuthbert Mission/Pakuri (Demerara-Mahaica), Region Five – Moraikobai (Mahaica-Berbice), Region Six – Orealla and Siparuta (East Berbice-Corentyne) and Region 10 – River View (Upper Demerara-Berbice).It also found that although the Indigenous population is culturally rich, they are among the most materially poor and socially excluded people. They experience poverty at twice and sometimes even five times more than non-Indigenous populations, the study found.The report stated that Guyana does not have a recent measure of monetary poverty identifying that the most recent was from 2015 with data from 2006 but it identified that the Indigenous population continued to exhibit the highest level of poverty in Guyana.The qualitative assessment showed that lack of money is not the only contributing factor to the level of poverty experienced by Indigenous communities; rather it is coupled with access to land, culture, medicine, food, education and safety. It was also discovered that most of the villagers depend on the help of their neighbours and religious organisations for assistance to deal with their situation.“It was reported that some would use traditional medicines not because it was part of their culture, but because the drug was not available in the health facility, and they did not have money to buy in the local shops. Many adolescents would say that they knew other people their age that would come to school without having eaten, and/or without money to buy something at the canteen. For some teachers, and a considerable group of students, the warm meal served in some of the primary schools would constitute the main meal for the day,” part of the report read.In the 12 communities assessed, it was found that Indigenous women and children are seriously disadvantaged with it comes to accessing good quality education, health and social services due to the lack of access to infrastructural and modern life facilities. That was coupled with the lack of employment opportunities resulting in male migration, which quite often ends up with the male counterpart leaving their families to fend for themselves.The Indigenous People’s Affairs Ministry in collaboration with UNICEF conducted the study. The aim of the study was to contribute to a greater understanding of Indigenous women and children regarding cultural/traditional practices as it relates to medicines; sexual and reproductive health issues; build or strengthen the resilience of children, families, communities and systems to natural disasters, conflicts chronic systemic crises and social conflicts.Additionally, it sought to examine decision-making processes on health and protection issues; strengthen the provision of equitable prevention and response to different forms of child violence, including gender-based violence; inform the development of a robust, sustained, early childhood development and equitable and inclusive education programmes for Amerindian children.It also sought to explore women’s leadership skills and their capacity building needs at the community level; explore livelihood and, empowerment opportunities; provide evidence for national and sub-national planning and developmental processes to contribute to an enabling environment, for Indigenous women and children, and determine the knowledge, perceptions and roles that were played by Indigenous peoples in the preservation of the environment and climate change and what are their current roles.